No need to worry as of now, Arvind Kejriwal says on Delhi covid spike : The Tribune India

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No need to worry as of now, Arvind Kejriwal says on Delhi covid spike

Says govt keeping eye on Covid situation, prepared to face any eventuality

No need to worry as of now, Arvind Kejriwal says on Delhi covid spike

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. @ANI


New Delhi, March 31

The Delhi government is keeping an eye on the spurt in COVID-19 cases in the national capital and is "prepared to face any eventuality", Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.

Only three deaths have been reported over the last four-five days. In all three patients, co-morbidities were "very severe" and it has been assessed that the fatality was due to co-morbidities and perhaps Covid was "incidental", but one can't say that, he said.

Addressing reporters after chairing a review meeting on the Covid situation in Delhi, Kejriwal, however, said there was no need to worry for now and that the city government was taking all required steps.

"The Delhi government is keeping an eye on the COVID-19 situation and it is prepared to face any eventuality", he said.

Delhi recorded 295 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday with a positivity of 12.48 per cent, according to data shared by the Health department.

On Wednesday, the city had logged 300 cases, the first time since August 31, while the positivity had mounted to 13.89 per cent Two Covid-related deaths were also reported on Wednesday.

The chief minister said genome sequencing of all samples that returned Covid-positive results was being conducted to timely identify new variants, if any.

The XBB.1.16 is the predominant variant at present, accounting for 48 per cent of all positive cases. It spreads rapidly but is not severe at all, he said.

On the vaccination front, Kejriwal said all adults in Delhi had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 while all eligible people below the age of 18 had been given the second dose.

He added that all Delhi government hospitals had been directed to maintain isolation wards for Covid patients.

"We have enough beds, ambulances, sufficient oxygen and storage capacity as of now," he said.

"We have 7,986 Covid beds. These include oxygen beds, ventilator beds and ICU beds. Only 66 are occupied as of now," he added.

In response to a query on regulations related to the use of masks, the Delhi chief minister added that no new guidelines had come from the Centre and, "as and when we will receive it, we will take action accordingly".

"We had also conducted testing of samples drawn from sewage and, till mid-February, the Covid positivity result was zero. But in the last 15 days, some samples have turned out positive," he said.

The government has sufficient capacity to conduct RT-PCR tests. Government labs have the capacity to conduct 4,000 tests a day while up to a lakh tests per day can be done at private facilities, he added.

At the airport, random testing is being conducted on two per cent of the passengers, Kejriwal said.

Delhi has witnessed an increase in the number of fresh Covid cases over the last few days amid a sharp rise in India's H3N2 influenza caseload.

Covid cases in Delhi had been on a decline over the last few months. On January 16, the national capital reported zero fresh cases for the first time since the pandemic's outbreak.

Thursday's cases have taken Delhi's COVID-19 tally to 20.09 lakh (20,09,656) while the death toll stands at 26,526. At present, Delhi's active Covid cases stand at 932.

The Health department data also showed that 2,363 Covid tests were conducted on Wednesday.

"On March 15, the daily case count was 42 and in 15 days it jumped to 295," Kejriwal said.

Of the three deaths reported in the last few days, two patients were not residents of Delhi, he added.

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